January 25, 2006

Brain training

Writing about web page http://www.cabel.name/2006/01/on-brain-training.html

Brain training Nintendo DS gameCabel Sasser writes insightfully about a new game for the Nintendo DS called Brain Training. Actually, I say "game" but I'm not sure if that's really the right word; it's a way of using your handheld console to do mental exercises.

What's slightly surprising is not that such a thing should exist but that it seems, in Japan at least to have been a runaway success – it sold nearly half a million copies in a single week, and has been the best-selling game in Japan since Christmas. As Cabel observes:-

Most importantly, though, Brain Training is doing what Nintendo said they would do but nobody really believed them on: opened gaming up to a whole new generation of players. Seeing grandmothers on the train holding their Nintendo DS like a book sends an instant signal "brain training in progress".

I'm looking forward to the US release of this so I can try it for myself (and hooray for non-region-locked devices!).

(As an aside, Cabel's blog is a thing of beauty; look at the subtle glow effects when you mouse over the "About" link, and the elegant pop-up you get when you click on it. Very nice.)


- 5 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Eleanor O'Donnell

    It sounds tenuously comparable to the epidemic of Su Doku here…

    25 Jan 2006, 12:58

  2. It's been a success in Japan because… they like that sort of thing.

    There is a UK release of Brain Training in the Spring, from what I know. There's also Animal Crossing being brought over around the same time, which is a bigger threat to people's free times than Nintendogs (which to be honest hasn't captured my imagination). Nintendo are starting to bring the "Japanesey" games over, hopefully games like Daigasso and Ouendan will follow.

    26 Jan 2006, 00:31

  3. Owain

    The DS titles have indeed come out in the UK, and been reviewed too. (There are multiple titles in the series)

    Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training:
    http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/DS/Dr+Kawashima’s+Brain+Training/review.asp?c=1174

    Big Brain Academy:
    http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/DS/Big+Brain+Academy/review.asp?c=1257

    Here’s a good one for mobile phones, if you don’t own a DS:
    http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Mobile/Brain+Genius/review.asp?c=2161

    Hope this helps!

    best
    Owain

    18 Feb 2007, 16:07

  4. Owain

    Hmm, something up with those links—you’ll need to copy and paste over the full URL to see the reviews!

    18 Feb 2007, 16:08

  5. Haha, necromancy or what?

    I’ve since bought both games, I think BBA is slightly better than BT. Not many can beat me on Calculations x 20!

    18 Feb 2007, 23:49


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  1. Training my brain

    Earlier this year I was interested to see that in Japan there are Nintendo DS games whose aim is to improve mental agility. Now that one of these games has been released in this country my interest has turned to annoyance with the discovery that the wretc…

    Autology: John Dale's blog - 07 Jul 2006, 16:07

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